UPDATED WITH VIDEO: Hilly challenge didn’t leave walkers feeling peaky!

More than 650 people walked the chalk for the annual Chiltern 3 Peaks challenge on Sunday in aid of Rennie Grove Hospice Care.

For the sixth year running, walkers – including reporters Becca Choules and Heather Jan Brunt, videographer Natalee Hazelwood and fellow Hemel Hempstead Gazette reporter Victoria Bull – were given the option of taking on either five, nine or 18 miles of the well-known Ridgeway path.

Walkers on top of Coombe Hill, Wendover, during the Chiltern 3 Peaks Challenge 2014

Walkers on top of Coombe Hill, Wendover, during the Chiltern 3 Peaks Challenge 2014

Those walking five miles took in Whiteleaf Cross in Princes Risborough and Coombe Hill in Wendover before stopping for lunch, while the nine-milers were bussed from Coombe Hill to Tring station to complete the final four miles to Ivinghoe Beacon.

Those who were left refuelled with a burger before setting off on the rest of the 18-mile route all the way to Ivinghoe Beacon in Bedfordshire.

The undulating terrain proved challenging at times, but walkers were spurred on by the thought of those they were helping by raising as much money as possible for the charity, which cares for people with life-limiting illnesses.

Arriva bus drivers from Aylesbury depot generously volunteered their time for free to ferry walkers back from Ivinghoe to the starting point at Princes Risborough School once the walk was over

Marshals also helped out at various points along the route by directing walkers, as well as manning the lunchtime barbecue and handing out much-needed bottles of water and snacks.

Janette Ashcroft from Aston Clinton brought her family along to take part in the five-mile walk after her fiancé and her best friend were cared for by the Iain Rennie nurses.

She said: “The charity has been fantastic coming into the home and offering support where it is needed. Everyone is so kind and supportive - it really is a wonderful organisation.”

Richard Godden from Wendover took part for the first time this year, and after completing his 18 mile challenge he said: “There were some cracking paths along the way.

“I have walked and run different parts of the route before and it was really good to put it all together today.”

Rennie Grove chief executive Jenny Provin, who also took part with her son Max, said: “I thoroughly enjoyed walking the five mile route and talking along the way to all the different people taking part.

“It was a chance to appreciate the English countryside and the emerging autumn colours at their very best.

“There was such a friendly atmosphere among the walkers and I was really struck by how much support there is for the work that we do.

“It is a huge challenge for us to raise over £6.5 million every year to care for 3,000 patients and families and it is support like this that makes it possible.

“We hope to raise over £40,000 from the Chilterns 3 Peaks Challenge which would fund one of our specialist nurses for a year.

“I would like to thank everyone involved in making the day such a success.

“Our team of volunteer helpers really set the tone for the day, greeting participants at registration, serving burgers and handing out medals with friendly smiles and our many marshals always had encouraging words to spur the walkers on.

“Thanks also go to the brilliant Arriva bus drivers and of course to all the participants and their sponsors.

“Everything you have done will make such a difference to our patients and their families.”

Did you take part in the challenge? Email your photos to becca.choules@jpress.co.uk.